Laura Benanti, star of NBC’s Go On, is a meditator and actress of television, film and Broadway theatre, best known for her Tony award winning performance of Louise in Gypsy.
In 1998, at age 17, Paper Mill’s then-artistic director Robert Johanson recommended Benanti for the role of Liesl in a Broadway revival of The Sound of Music. Benanti auditioned for the show’s producers and was considered too mature-looking to play Liesl, but, after several call-backs, was signed at the age of 18 to play one of the nuns and to understudy Rebecca Luker as Maria. Benanti played the role for two weeks during Luker’s vacation, and, at 19, took over the role when Luker left the production.
In 2002, Benanti played Cinderella in the Broadway revival of Into the Woods, and received both a Tony nomination for Best Performance by a Featured Actress in a Musical and a Drama Desk nomination for Outstanding Featured Actress in a Musical.
She played Julia Sullivan in the Broadway musical The Wedding Singer. In July 2007, Benanti played in a three-week limited run of the musical Gypsy in the Encores! production at the New York City Center as Louise, alongside Patti LuPone as Rose and Boyd Gaines as Herbie. In March 2008, the production transferred to Broadway, where it ran until January 2009 and received widespread critical acclaim. Benanti’s performance as Louise was praised, with The New York Times’s Ben Brantley declaring it “the performance of her career”. She won several awards, including a Tony for Best Performance by a Featured Actress in a Musical, a Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Featured Actress in a Musical, and an Outer Critics Circle Award for Outstanding Featured Actress in a Musical.
She next appeared in the Lincoln Center Theater production of Sarah Ruhl’s In the Next Room (or The Vibrator Play) beginning October 22, 2009 at the Lyceum Theatre.
Benanti recently appeared in the new musical Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown she received a Tony Award nomination, and won the Drama Desk Award and Outer Critics Circle Award for Best Featured Actress in a Musical for her performance.
In addition to stage roles, Benanti was a regular on the short-lived FX Networks sitcom Starved (2005). A year later, she appeared in two films: Take the Lead, in which she reunited with her Nine co-star Antonio Banderas as his love-sick assistant, and Falling for Grace, in which she played a princess. In 2008, Benanti had a recurring role on the ABC television series Eli Stone. In 2011 she was cast in the NBC series The Playboy Club. Benanti played the wife of Dr. Atticus Sherman on episode 11 of season two of The Big C, entitled “Fight Or Flight.” Benanti recently had a recurring role on Law & Order: Special Victims Unit as Detective Nick Amaro’s wife. Benanti is currently playing the role of Lauren Bennett, a leader of a support group, on the NBC series, Go On.